Author Topic: Making Occult Studies more Accessible  (Read 64793 times)

LuciferX

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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #270 on: February 20, 2012, 01:07:53 am »
On that note, I hope someone in the thread has already mentioned the excellent Art of Memetics (and if they haven't, well, I have now).

On a related note, someone dropped a great Italian meme at lunch today:

Facebook, pronounced in Italian (as is) turns out "fesse book" : "idiot book"  :lulz:

Related because I then regurgitated your previous post about how the joke would not work at all without phonetic language, say in Chinese ( my indulgences...)  8)

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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #271 on: February 20, 2012, 04:24:11 am »
This thread makes Occult Jesus cry.

sorry? I felt like there was some good juice in the OP, but if you only bumped this so you could shit in it, I'll just back out of the thread and leave you to your work



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LuciferX

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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #272 on: February 20, 2012, 05:03:24 am »
Vimeo.com/31092733 - Jurgen Habermas on Magic

Starts at 9.30 (it kind of makes me a little claustrophobic)

Agility as skillful means in magic to effect things before the causal mechanisms are fully understood...

Symbols and ritual as representations of this unclear knowledge...

I can't listen to this anymore...

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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #273 on: February 21, 2012, 09:22:13 pm »
Dude, you're getting way too worked up about this. You need to relax.

ECH totally called it BTW :lulz:



Anyway, I want to say a bit more about the Yoga I do. Some of which probably echoes what's been said before.

First, Roger said it might have merit because people obviously benefit from it. That's pretty much my take on it too. In fact I didn't so much look at other people as just try it out and found that it benefits me. First tangible improvement already occurred after 6 weekly lessons, I found I improved my posture (back straight, shoulders not slumping, etc) in daily life, an improvement that'll probably benefit me for the rest of my life.



It was also said it's probably because people doing regular exercise also benefit from that. Which is kind of true, but it's important to note that different types of exercise give different kinds of benefit. Although most types of physical exercise, whether you run or lift weights, they may train different muscles but both will give you a general sense of well-being just from getting physical exercise. However, the kind of Yoga I do is hardly physical exercise. It's kind of different from the stereotypical way in that sense. You could describe it as meditation, except you do it not just sitting, but also lying on the floor and in one posture, each lesson. But the postures aren't really difficult and it's continuously stressed that you should never force yourself, rather do an easier alternative then.

My point with this is that I also do physical exercise (currently gym, but as my knee heals I'll start running again cause it's cheaper), from which I enjoy a lot of benefits. But the Yoga I do targets a different kind of thing, mostly my mental state, mostly about awareness, in fact this should be a thing people would agree is good, here, because unlike physical exercise, the whole point is not to do the movements, but to focus on not going through them like a robot, but to pay attention to as much internal detail as possible, every muscle movement, weight, pressure changing, etc.



Okay, now about the occult and the woo. I believe the particular Yoga class/teacher I found is the best one I could found to have the minimum amount of woo, yet provides the traditional benefits expected from Yoga, unlike the gym Yoga teacher making their students knot themselves up in impossible contortions.

Still, this teacher talks about "energies" and sometimes "chakras" when explaining what specific things we should pay attention to. Fortunately I can nearly always translate those into a more "real" concept that they in fact are a metaphor for. And if not, I ask a few questions and it usually becomes clear. This "translating" is actually something I learned from exactly these discussions on PD (also from my own smarts). And to be frank, sometimes the terms "energy" and "chakra" (specifically those two, btw) capture what is meant as a "real" concept way more easily than explaining this in a scientific manner. I believe you should learn both though, you need to know what they stand for. For clarification when my teacher says "chakra" I understand it to mean "one of seven rough locations in the body, as a point to focus your attention on" and for "energy" I understand "something that you can feel, probably caused by how the posture made your blood flow, bones and tissue stretch, nerves move and activate and unblock, things like that" (the feeling can be anything from warmth, prickling or general awareness).

Let's take the "energy" bit. Fortunately she hardly ever talks about energy in a sense other than my above interpretation. It has other interpretations, I could also make a personal "translation" for "emotional energy" in a room, as "a function of body language of others, sounds, facial expression, etc" (or something). I'm glad she usually sticks with the "inside body energy" because doing otherwise would conflate the two, and personally I don't have any "real" justification for doing that.

I think it would be really interesting if I could find a Yoga class/teacher that would use the "real" concepts to explain all the same things. Because that way you can take things forward, scientifically. Like "maybe you can feel your lymph flowing"--no that wouldn't work because it's bullshit you don't feel that. But you can feel the effects of such a thing happening. Better would probably still be to wrap it up as "energy" during the exercise, so the student can just pay attention to as much feelings as possible without having to wonder about exactly how or why, and then after the exercise discuss what it could have been. We do that with my Yoga as well. The teacher in fact has a solid background in physiotherapy so she knows what muscles and organs go where and what they can do. It's just that sometimes she mixes in some woo, and it would be really interesting to substitute that for a more scientific discussion. Her "woo" never contradicts human physiology btw, that would be dangerous and wrong.



Quote from: ECH
USING OCCULT TERMINOLOGY TO DESCRIBE EMPIRICALLY-BASED PROCESSES IS JUST ABOUT THE SINGLE MOST FUCKING PRETENTIOUS AND TWATTY THING I CAN THINK OF.
WHICH IS WHY WE'RE TRYING TO GET RID OF THE OCCULT TERMINOLOGY AND EXAMINE THE PROCESSES.

But you can't do that without starting with the woo, and reverse engineering until you get to the meat.
I think we all agree to THAT.

I just think there's some disagreement as to what consitutes "meat".

This is pretty much exactly what I'd like to get from these discussions.

And the disagreement as to what constitutes "meat" is exactly where these discussions often go horribly wrong.

But it's one thing when you call someone on implying something is "meat" when you believe it's really still "woo".

It's another thing when the "meat" turns out to be something that to others is really obvious or comes more natural to them, without relying on the "tricks".

But really everybody has their own bag of tricks. Roger sometimes gets a real bad bout of paranoia and he probably has some "tricks" to deal with that. Stepping away from the computer for a while is one of them I believe, but there's probably more. I would never say "paranoia? well just stop being paranoid then, why would you need a trick for that?" -- of course the "trick" of stepping away from the computer is not occult or woo or anything so maybe it's a dumb example. But Yoga is one of my "tricks" to deal with some similar personal problems when my head won't cooperate with me.

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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #274 on: February 21, 2012, 09:22:31 pm »
When I see weird unexplainable shit happening, I'm not afraid to call it a ghost. Does that mean it's a dead soul playing tricks on me? No. It's just a short hand that encompasses a couple of weird unexplainable events that people can immediately relate to. And I've seen/heard really weird shit that I can't explain. We all have, haven't we?

Actually, I haven't. And I've been looking real hard.

IMO, the word "ghost" has nothing but a supernatural meaning, and without ever having experiences anything supernatural, I do not use it to describe my experiences.

ECH also summed it up:
Quote from: ECH
As I type this, it occurs to me that a whole lot of peoples' acceptance of idiocy like this stems from an innate discomfort with saying those three little words that go so far towards achieving biped-hood: I DON'T KNOW.

I have no problems whatsoever saying "I DONT KNOW", fortunately :) It may bug me that I don't, but when I don't, I don't.

I'm much more in favour of occasionally using terms that (probably) do have a scientific explanation, but used to be "magical" in some contexts, as a shorthand for pointing at some rather complex (but mostly scientifically understood) concept, and explicitly eschewing the "magical" connotations that go with it. "Energy" in the non-physics meaning of the word is a prime example of that. IMO it's fine to use it in that sense, as a shorthand, as long as it's clear what's meant (not magical) and you can preferably give some scientific explanation of what's really going on. It's a real problem when these meanings do not align, of course.

At the end of the day, the cello still fell down with no reasonable explanation.

I don't know what knocked over the cello. Like I said, I'm an agnostic as far as that goes and am willing to entertain all plausible explanations. Until I get one, poltergeist is a universal call sign to the phenomenon, whether caused by actual "noise ghosts" or not.

See this is when the meanings don't align. When something falls over for no reason, I might get spooked, I might even joke about a ghost, but in the end I'm going to assume there was some physical explanation for what happened. If you call that "poltergeist", then to me that implies that you're at least definitely contemplating a possible supernatural explanation.

See I think that's different. Say you come home after a real busy day and you plunk down on the couch, close your eyes and relax but stay aware to not doze off (aka almost-meditation-kind-of). If you pay attention you can feel "energy" winding down as you become calmer. And you can talk about that (afterwards), but we all know you aren't talking about some ethereal substance leaving your body, but rather a description of changes in your physical and mental state.

And even then I have no problems saying I don't actually know exactly what's going on, but something is (and that bugs me, so I investigate more).

Coming back to a different topic, and this is where things get kind of convoluted, and I'd like to hear the "skeptics" opinion on this. Empirically, if you do this sort of yoga/meditation type of exercise a lot, you find that as you picture this "energy" to leave through your feet and any body parts that are resting on something solid, it works a lot better than if you just wait until it's all calmed down. Such an exercise is called "grounding" in yoga, meditation, also pagan rituals afaik.

Now the thing is, this "energy" is not real, it's not leaving your body, especially not specifically through your feet into the earth. But if you ignore the lack of science for it and try to feel with your eyes closed, it's real easy to imagine that it does. And when you do so, it works better. (and there are scientific/physiological explanations for that, I'm certain, though I don't know what they are)

Now what?

Is this woo, or occult? Can we translate this into a more "real" description of what to do?

If not, you are fooling your mind, temporarily, and the end result is the exercise works better.

Is it enough just that you in the back of your mind know that it's some physiological process, even if you don't know exactly how it works? Because as you practice that exercise, you're going to get better at fooling yourself. IMO this is alright, as long as after the exercise you know what really happened. But this is of course a dangerous path.

P3NT also made a statement worth repeating: That science hasn't really scratched the surface yet of using imagination as a tool. Fortunately, they are working on it :)



About the terminology of using terms "occult" or "magick".

Let's compare to Alchemy and Chemistry. Not a really good comparison because Alchemy has been entirely and completely superseded by Chemistry. But Magick has not YET been entirely superseded by the combined sciences of psychology, physiology and medicine. Pretty much all of it can be explained by those sciences, but they don't pursue it in the same manner, because of all sorts of reasons. One of which is of course that cheap cures that can be done by "just sitting" aren't exactly popular by whoever funds the research.

Anyway what I wanted to say is, personally I only use the terms "occult" or "magick" in a historical sense.

Like "I read this technique in a book about the occult" and I want to experiment and try it out, see what works. Doesn't mean I'm going to call it an "occult technique", in fact I'd rather not. Still I might need to borrow some of the terminology.

For Alchemy it doesn't really work like that because anything truly interesting about Alchemy, you can get better explained from a real Chemistry book. With certain techniques explained in literature about "Magick", that's sometimes harder. Although the scientific research is out there, too. It's just kind of hard to find, you should try to find it, but maybe not right away because it's a lot of work.

I really like how Telarus called them "weaponized memes", too.
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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #275 on: February 22, 2012, 11:14:43 am »
Just to point out: alchemy means two entirely different things, wrapped up in the same kind of hermetic language. One is proto-chemistry and the other is proto-psychology. (I blame the failure of both on the confusion between them and the fact that neither was ever really particularly clear, but that's for political reasons)


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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #276 on: February 23, 2012, 12:42:17 am »
Oh, I was under the impression it was mostly proto-chemistry. But I'm probably wrong.
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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #277 on: February 23, 2012, 02:34:48 am »
Oh, I was under the impression it was mostly proto-chemistry. But I'm probably wrong.

It was proto-chemistry right up to the point where it developed into actual chemistry, and what was left over was assimilated by magicktards who wanted to play wizard because science is too hard.
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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #278 on: February 23, 2012, 03:07:03 am »
Just to point out: alchemy means two entirely different things, wrapped up in the same kind of hermetic language. One is proto-chemistry and the other is proto-psychology. (I blame the failure of both on the confusion between them and the fact that neither was ever really particularly clear, but that's for political reasons)


I think that the key recognition here is that, again, we see that language connotates into two 'name-spaces' (the border being our 'self-illusion', separating neuro-somatics from neuro-physics, study of the body-mind vs study of the universe). It all does, all the time and much of the descriptions mirror each other. Functionally there is no border, but in order for 'us' to use language, we seem to require the two realms. I have a theory this is (partly) because the mind already forms an imperfect model of the outside environment, so any model of that environment must contain a model of the imperfect model, and the fiction of an ego is (partially) a safe-catch to avoid madness due to infinite regress (oh, those Bedlam boys are bonny! they all go bare, they live by the air, they want no drink nor money!).


 
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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #279 on: February 23, 2012, 11:40:19 am »
Oh, I was under the impression it was mostly proto-chemistry. But I'm probably wrong.
I think the proto-chemistry bit (called 'physical alchemy') came first. The proto-psychology bit ('spiritual alchemy') mimiced the language. Both were incredibly unclear, because the attempted synthesis of gold *and* practicing any kind of mind hacking other than mainline catholicism would both get you killed in medieval europe. The 'salve et coagule' formula comes from spiritual alchemy rather than physical alchemy, clearly, but the rest of it is very unclear -- the spiritual alchemists and the physical alchemists for the most part both thought they were the only kind, so physical alchemists killed themselves trying to repeat experiments described by spiritual alchemists while spiritual alchemists drove themselves nuts trying to repeat experiments written by physical alchemists.

I hear a lot of "spiritual alchemy never existed!", but I think that's because chemistry teachers (and a handful of other parties) have a vested interest in thinking of alchemy as a failed proto-chemistry. Mind you, as a proto-psychology it isn't all that great either, for more or less the same reasons. Being unclear isn't generally a good idea in science (and both of these, given that they were based on attempting very close observation of repeatable experiments by large numbers of people, can at least be loosely categorized as attempted science).


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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #280 on: February 23, 2012, 12:02:33 pm »
4 2 42 33 PST
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 12:04:24 pm by hirley0 »

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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #281 on: February 23, 2012, 01:29:18 pm »
4 2 42 33 PST

Oh my fuck!  That is magickal jibber-jabber if I ever saw it!
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Re: Making Occult Studies more Ac
« Reply #282 on: February 23, 2012, 01:48:06 pm »
4 2 42 33 PST

Oh my fuck!  That is magickal jibber-jabber if I ever saw it!
4 8

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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #283 on: February 23, 2012, 01:52:21 pm »
4 8 what? 
Cynicism is a blank check for failure.

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Re: Making Occult Studies more Accessible
« Reply #284 on: February 23, 2012, 05:07:20 pm »
48 6, I guess.

It's bits of notes and code he leaves for himself to keep track of what discussions he's taking part in. It's some sort of a mental breadcrumb trail, if you like.But it might not always be relevant to the context it's being posted either.

This one looks like a time stamp, 4:02:33 PST, which is the time stamp of the post itself. Which is kinda hard because you can't see the time stamp until after you've made the post. So I think that Hirley0 guessed the timestamp would be 4:02:42 PST, but he was a few seconds off and edited the post to reflect this.

Or it's launch codes.
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